Diet and anti-aging strategies

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Louise Hay
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According to recent estimates, children born in the early twenty-first century have a life expectancy of around one hundred years.

The aging of your country and global population is there for all to see; thanks to advances in science and an overall improvement in the quality of life, we are witnessing a steady increase in the average age of individuals.

Aging actively and in self-sufficiency therefore represents the fundamental premise for enjoying this long period of life in serenity.
Like any important goal, even that of curbing the negative effects linked to the passage of time, must be pursued with the right amount of commitment and determination.



Some simple precautions, to be adopted from childhood, can help us face old age with serenity and vigor.

Importance of the ideal weight

On the tables of industrialized countries, food has never been as abundant as in recent decades. Despite this, the qualitative aspect of food is often insufficient to maintain the optimal efficiency of the precious human machine. It is in fact a high-calorie food, not very satiating and poor in nutritional principles such as mineral salts and vitamins.

This paradox underlies the growing rate of obesity, a serious problem that is spreading in a frightening and worrying way.

One of the fundamental conditions for extending and improving your life is to maintain your body weight within the normal range. This trick, not always easy to adopt, is able to prevent, by itself, a very long list of pathologies. Furthermore, according to the studies conducted successfully on many laboratory animals, an overall reduction in caloric intake would seem to be one of the best ways to persist in the state of psychophysical efficiency that characterizes youth.



Without getting to malnutrition, which is an aggravating factor in the aging process, it is important to cover the needs of all the essential nutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates but also, and above all, vitamins and minerals) without overdoing the calories.

Vitamins

On a qualitative level, the nutrients that are most frequently lacking in the diet of Westerners are precisely minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc, and some vitamins (A, E, D, Folate, B1, B2 and C). It is therefore essential to guarantee a correct intake of foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as fruit, vegetables, good fats (vegetable oils with the exception of tropical ones) and whole foods with the diet. Some vitamins and in particular E, or tocopherol, have shown very strong antioxidant properties capable of attenuating, on their own, the impact of aging


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In the article "vitamin supplements" we have shown that it is not always easy to cover the needs of these nutrients and that, in some circumstances, specific supplementation is necessary. A good supply of calcium and vitamin D is also important for preventing osteoporosis.

Antioxidants, Diet and Sport

To defend itself against free radicals, our body supports the antioxidants deriving from the diet with very effective endogenous systems. A relationship has been demonstrated between the efficiency of these mechanisms and the lifespan of many animal species. The best way to increase the power of these endogenous antioxidant systems is through regular physical activity. This healthy habit explains why exercise makes people who practice it regularly look more beautiful and younger. Sport also contributes to building a winning mentality and improving the mind-body relationship. The psychological crises caused by the inability to react strongly to some unpleasant life events contribute to accelerate the physical decay of the organism.



Sport is also the best way to establish a positive hormonal picture in a completely natural way.

There are several theories, very popular in the States and recently also in our country, which paint hormone replacement therapy as the best method to win the fight against premature aging.

The production and secretion of the hormones on which this therapy is based (GH, testosterone and its precursor DHEA), is in fact significantly higher in subjects who practice an active life and maintain their weight within the norm.

Diabetes and Cholesterol

One of the most dangerous allies of aging is hyperglycemia, a condition typically associated with diabetes. We know that in most cases there is a genetic predisposition to the disease and that this is heavily influenced by the person's lifestyle (diet too rich in sugar and reduced physical activity).

The fibers contained in fruit, vegetables and whole foods have a long list of beneficial factors including: stabilizing effect on blood sugar, increase in the sense of satiety, cholesterol-lowering action, prevention of overweight and obesity, improvement of the functionality of the gastrointestinal tract and reduction the incidence of some cancers.


Tumors

Risk factors in the diet

Tumor of the esophagus

Abuse of wine, beer and especially spirits;
deficiency of vitamin C, iron, zinc (lack of fresh fruit and vegetables); Nitrites and nitrates of preserved meats; frequent consumption of very hot food


Stomach Cancer


Nitrates and especially the nitrites contained in sausages, dried and smoked foods; see the dedicated article: nitrites and nitrates

Colorectal cancer

Excessive consumption of preserved meats, red meat, trans and hydrogenated fats, very salty foods; calcium supplements (relationship uncertain) and / or lack of fiber in the diet

Prostate cancer High consumption of red meat, low consumption of vegetable fibers and legumes (soy), high consumption of dairy products
Breast cancer High consumption of alcohol and animal fats, low consumption of vegetable fibers and legumes (soy)
Liver cancer Abuse of alcohol and consumption of food contaminated with toxins (e.g. some types of mushrooms or cereals contaminated with aflatoxins)

Pancreatic cancer

Excess of alcohol, Excessive consumption of red meat

Water and Hydration

In the elderly, but also in many adults and very young people, dehydration is an often underestimated problem.

The decrease in the stimulus of thirst linked to aging, associated with a diet that too often replaces water with alcohol and sugary drinks, is responsible for a reduction in protein synthesis and an increase in adipose tissue. This worsening of body composition opens the doors to obesity and decreases physical and mental efficiency.

We should therefore make an effort to sip water throughout the day, even in the absence of thirst.


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